‘Exploring your sexuality: Healthy, but does it have to be with the Prince of England?’
Title: Red, White & Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Length: 432 pages
Rating: 3/5 ★★★☆☆
A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…
First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.
The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.
As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?
Reading this book was like watching a romcom, the plot was predictable but that didn’t take away from the fact that it’s really enjoyable and I loved the main characters.
The writing style could use a bit of improving.
Mexican-america and queer af, I loved the desing of this main character. He’s snarky and impulsive and tries really hard to please everyone, which is hard considering how many people are invested in his personal life. He is the perfect example of stressed young adult, although some of his decisions and though-process reads more like teenager.
I feel like he’s the perfect love-interest, a tragic backstory, a family that doesn’t care much until it’s plot-related, and HOT. He’s also an adorable nerd and very gay which is always good
Sweet big sister coming in to save her bi-disaster brother. She tries so hard to grow in a family that wants her to follow their lead, she strives to be different and start her own path (wich stapos being a thing at the end for some reason), but she loves Alex so much that she’s willing to help out whenever and wherever
I’d have liked to see more of her tbh. I felt like she only appeared to save everyone’s asses but we don’t get to lean too much about her?
This was a fun new-adult novel about the US president’s son falling in love with UK royalty and it was properly tropey and cute.
It literally read like a romcom and I’m saying this as a good thing. Queer people want more content that just gives us all that sappy and painfully predictable endings allo-cis-hets have been getting this whole time. You know what’s going to happen but that just makes it easy to read. The story has really funny moments and I laughed out loud quite a few times.
So if you are looking to smile a lot and think little then this is a perfect book!
The writing was a bit all over the place, it felt like there were scenes the author wanted to get to so the pacing would just jump from one place to another with little coherence.
The characters (other than the two main) were inconsistent and there was a lot that they told us but we don’t see. Especially the mom, she seems more a plot-maker than an actual character, her appearances are only to further the plot and while we are told that she cares about her kids’ emotions we don’t see her acting like it at any point. The sister seems adamant on not working on politics and instead writing as a journalist but by the end she seems happy to become her mom’s speech writer. Nora is meant to be Alex’s best friend but she is noticeably absent for most of the narrative and only there as Alex’s “beard”.
I hoped we’d see a bit more of Henry’s family further into the book but they were all one dimensional and made no sense. The brother was your stereotypical homophobic guy with no character depth, the mother was absent for almost the whole time and suddenly reappears to make everything okay with her new-found courage that has no explained reason for surfacing. The sister was a drug addict but that doesn’t really matter? She’s fine now and while there are a few lines on how she’ll always be dealing with it I don’t feel like it was treated properly enough to justify bringing it up in the first place. The Queen was so flat that I can’t even remember if she was given a name, she was (like the brother) only there to remind us that homophobia is a thing but it can be beaten if you are white and powerful (not to mention Henry’s mother using the queen’s sickness as blackmail, that was not-good)
And lastly, the fucking “british accent”. English is not my first language but I can tell this particular accent apart (kind of). EVERY TIME Henry say something we are reminded that he said it: britishly on his very british sexy british voice. We get it, he has an accent you like, we don’t need to be reminded of it so much.
That’s the choice. I love him, with all that, because of all that. On purpose. I love him on purpose.
“You are”, he says, “the absolute worst idea I’ve ever had.”
Take anything you want and know you deserve to have it.
Sometimes you just jump and hope it’s not a cliff.